The locust-tree looked ruffled,
its hanging clusters
like chandeliers of white ringlets trembling in the breeze.
In the azure-tinted moments of that room
your silence was the strange calm of coral,
my loneliness was grief, the way a pearl slowly forms in its shell.
You say that water covers the whole world
every lantern and cradle, every tangled branch.
The ache that followed that tempest cannot be put into words.
A flame-loving moth caught in a glass –
like a madwoman, I trimmed tiny moments
so that I could open up a path to this small door,
walking into the heart of the fire time and again,
to the sound of ghazals
in the streets of Jerusalem.
Those times now seem so far away
Moses in his basket of reeds
still floating down the Nile.
In my antique loneliness,
like a mote of dust from some broken planet,
I am still on my way.
You are both man and child to me,
tomorrow will come again for us
out of these cold, dark, swirling waters.